Part 1: Getting Started

Part 1: Getting Started

 

Chapter 1 Introduction to OpenOffice.org 1.0

 

Chapter 2 Installation

 

Chapter 3 Migrating From StarOffice 5.2 to OpenOffice.org 1.0

 

Chapter 4 Printer Setup and Printing

 

Chapter 5 Setup and Tips

Chapter 1. Introduction to OpenOffice.org 1.0

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • One-Minute Guide to OpenOffice.org

  • Top Ten Reasons to Use OpenOffice.org

  • Program Essentials

  • Switching From Microsoft Office

  • What's New

  • The OpenOffice.org CD

One-Minute Guide to OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org is your free ticket to ride the Microsoft Office train without actually going anywhere near the station. OpenOffice.org opens all the Microsoft Office formatsWord, Excel, and PowerPoint. And you can save any file in any of those formats, too. You can create a new Microsoft text document, spreadsheet, or set of slides without ever using Microsoft.

Governments, small businesses, schools , or anyone at all

Any group or individual that wants to get work done without spending $500 a pop can benefit enormously from simply switching to OpenOffice.org.

Handles and goes beyond Microsoft Office

In addition, OpenOffice.org opens dozens of other formats. Lotus 1-2-3, GIFs and SVG and PNG graphics, and handles them beautifully. Not only do you get the ability to open and edit all the files Microsoft does, but you get a whole lot more.

graphics/01inf01.jpg

Going from Microsoft Office to OpenOffice.org

If you're an MS Office user , you'll still have to do some learning, but you'll have lots of "Oh, this is the same" moments.

Professional-level graphics

Plus, with OpenOffice.org you've got a great drawing/image editing program, Draw, which goes way beyond the minor tools you get in Microsoft Office. Draw is an excellent program, simpler for some than Adobe products, but with lots of power and features. Export to EPS, SVG, plus over a dozen other graphics formats, including standards like GIF andJPG.

Get started

Just hit Chapter 2, Installation , on page 19, or to learn more, read "Program Essentials" on page 6. To see what's changed, see "What's New" on page 13.

Top Ten Reasons to Use OpenOffice.org

Here are the ten best reasons to switch to OpenOffice.org.

  1. OpenOffice.org: Free. Microsoft Office: Rather more; up to $550. Not being controlled by whatever Microsoft wants to do with pricing, distribution, licensing, and world domination in general: Priceless.

  2. Government agencies publish forms in Word and Excel format. Universities require that students submit papers in Word format. Elementary schools publish their school lunch menus in Word format, for heaven's sake. Who's going to pay $550 to read a lunch menu? Just get OpenOffice.org. Even if you don't need most of the features, it means you can read everything in the closed Microsoft world without living in it.

  3. Ever have problems with backward compatibility? You've got Office 97 files around that you can't open with the current version of MS Office. No such problem with OpenOffice.org or StarOffice; they're more compatible with MS Office than MS Office is.

  4. This just in: It's official. Bill Gates has enough money. Do you? If you and your children in elementary school, your children at college, your small business, medium business, enterprise, educational institution, church , synagogue, library, government agency, law firm, sports league, volunteer organization, or Summons Service'n'Ice Cream Parlor have all the money you need, great. But if not, you need the money more than Bill does. Save it and go with OpenOffice.org instead of other office suites.

  5. It's the best drawing program you've never used. It's got 3D stuff you've probably not come across in Word's drawing feature, Visio-like connector tools for architectural and electrical diagrams, cool auto-measuring lines that display the measurement of any object in the drawing (1-1 or to scale). And fancy text manipulation through FontWorks. Plus photo editing in all the applications. Go to Guided Tour of Draw: Vector and Raster Graphics on page 753.

  6. No muss, no fuss data sources for mail merge (sending form letters to the 1204 people in your contacts database), etc. All you need is your customer list, in a text file or however you want it. The rest is incredibly slick and easy. We've included a tutorial to prove how easy it is; see page 873.

  7. UNIX users, get excited. Applix and the other former front office tools lacked a certain something. Anyone who's not an enthusiastic LaTeK user is breathing a huge sigh of relief. Plus UNIX folks can now stay off of Windows 24/7, without a backup system for running PowerPoint presentations.

  8. OpenOffice.org 1.0 files might be the smallest files you ever create. They're not in a binary format anymore (like pretty much all the other desktop applications). They're XML. So other applications can open and deal with that format. It also means that you can write and write, and import all sorts of graphics, and your file sizes will still be miniscule. We wrote some 6.0 Writer documents that approached 80 pages and were still under 100k. Impress, Draw, and Calc all make really small files too.

  9. Whatever annoyances you had regarding StarOffice 5.2, forget it. This release rules. Really. (We spent about 1200 hours writing the StarOffice 5.2 Companion. This release is great.)

  10. It's a great principle, and a great reality. Open standards. XML file format. Nobody has a stranglehold on anyone else. Nobody in Redmond controls anything you do. This is the way software should be. And is.